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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. Michael J. Bowler, Dies

Bowler was a retired archdiocesan priest and former associate pastor of St. Turibius Parish on Karlov Avenue

Chicago (July 6, 2021) – Rev. Michael J. Bowler, former associate pastor of St. Turibius Parish on Karlov Avenue, passed away Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at the age of 90.

Bowler was born on Feb. 1, 1931, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein.

Bowler was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1957, by Cardinal Samuel Stritch, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 12 of the same year at St. Genevieve Parish in Chicago.

After ordination, Bowler served as assistant pastor at the following Chicago parishes: St. Thomas More Parish on California Avenue, Resurrection Parish on Jackson Street, Visitation Parish Garfield Boulevard and St. Eugene Parish on Foster Avenue. Bowler was also associate pastor at the following parishes: St. Bernardine Parish in Forest Park, St. Cornelius Parish on Foster Avenue, St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish on 32nd Street and St. Turibius. He retired in 2001.

Rev. William J. Finnegan, pastor emeritus of Our Lady of the Woods, remembered his classmate as a dedicated parish priest with a good sense of humor who enjoyed spending time with the people of God.

Rev. Bartholomew J. Juncer, pastor of St. Odilo Parish in Berwyn, was a good friend of Bowler’s. “He was very dedicated as a priest to the people of God. Even in his 80s he would visit people in hospitals, visit the sick to bring communion and to anoint them, he would come to church to celebrate Mass.” Juncer  remembers Bowler as a faithful, kind and congenial priest.

Visitation hours will be from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, at Pomierski Funeral Home, 1059 W. 32nd Street in Chicago, and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Friday, July 9, at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish, 1039 W.32nd Street in Chicago. The funeral Mass will take place on Friday, July 9, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish. Cardinal Cupich will be the main celebrant while Juncer will be the homilist.

Interment will occur at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines.